Daily Archives: September 19, 2017

Moongil Arisi Payasam/ Bamboo Rice Payasam


Moongil Arisi or Bamboo Rice, is a rare variety among native rice which is the gift of the bamboo flower, during the last stages of the plant. Almost similar to wheat in looks and nutty in taste, it is highly adaptable as payasam/sweet pudding, dosai/pancakes, uppuma, or a replacement to cooked rice with loads of nutritious value.

High protein, high in potassium and vitamin B, strengthens heart, reduces cholesterol, maintains sugar level as it is low in glycemic index…. so many details available.  No doubt, it is several times healthier than the polished, refined rice and other carbs that are available today.

I chose to make a payasam/sweet pudding to relish this exclusive gift from the Bamboo Flower to mankind.

Moongil Arisi Payasam/Bamboo Rice Sweet Pudding



  • moongil arisi/bamboo arisi – 1 cup
  • vellam/cane jaggery – 3/4 cup
  • thengai pal/coconut milk  – thick milk: 1/2 cup; diluted thin milk :1/2 cup
  • elakkai podi/cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp
  • chukku podi/dry ginger powder – 1/2 tsp
  • nei/clarified butter – 2 tsp
  • mundhiri paruppu/cashewnut – 8 no.s broken into smaller pieces

Method of Preparation

1. Soak jaggery in 1/4 cup hot water and close lid. It would be mostly dissolved after 15 minutes. Crush the jaggery pieces if any and filter for impurities. Keep aside to use it later

2. Wash well and soak moongil arisi/bamboo rice for 4 hours.


3. Use the soaked water for cooking too. Take 4 times water to 1 times rice (I used 4 cups water for 1 cup bamboo rice)


4. In a pressure cooker, reduce the burner after the first whistle and cook for 20 more minutes

5. Open lid after pressure subsides completely


6. Pour the filtered jaggery water and cook till the mixture thickens


7. Add the diluted thin coconut milk and cook for another 5 minutes. Like the paasi paruppu payasam, moongil arisi can be cooked in third coconut milk and then second and the first thick milk can be added to complete the process. But, moongil arisi is a hard nut to crack. I thought it might need more time to soften and hence used water to cook the rice well.

8. While using store-bought canned coconut milk – dilute 1/4 cup milk with 1/4 water and add at this stage, or if using home-made coconut milk from scratch, add the second milk (not so thin) after the rice is cooked with jaggery.


9. Heat clarified butter in a pan and fry cut cashew nuts and add to the boiling payasam. One can also use fried coconut slices or raisins to enhance flavor.


10. Check whether the rice is cooked well and absorbed the jaggery and coconut milk.

11. Now, add the thick milk and boil for just 2 minutes in simmered flame. The jaggery may curdle the coconut milk.


Nutritious Moongil Arisi Payasam is ready to be served.


Aadu/Mutton Urundai Kuzhambu/Meat Balls (lamb) in Spicy Gravy


Mutton Kola urundai kuzhambu, Keema/Kaima urundai kuzhambu, Mutton urundai kuzhambu – all mean the same : a tasty, spicy Meat Ball Curry. I was introduced to this curry long back in a Tamil household, where native food at its best was the norm. Here, food at home was always strictly with the warmth of softest cloth idlies (idlies made in cloth) and the taste of grandmother’s stone ground curries. The efforts put in by the ‘Efficient Mother of the House’ was and is still truly impressive. So much emphasis on perfection for even the simplest of chutnies and precision in making curries used to be a fanfare while visiting their home.

One such amazing cooking experience that I could watch was that of Urundai Kuzhambu with Lamb. Urundai literally translates as ’round’ and is used for all round structures or believed to be round – including the world. Hence, Sweet Balls like Laddus are also known as Urundai and Meat Balls are also denoted by the term Urundai and more so, the Lentil Balls are Paruppu Urundai.

I rekindled the learning experience I got approximately 16 years ago and made Urundai Kuzhambu with Lamb. Whether the recipe is the same is yet to be referred.

I took these recipes as guidelines. Thanks a ton friends!

Special thanks to Mrs. G for introducing me to this non-vegetarian extravaganza – due to its elaborate preparation,  especially making it in the traditional way possible (in today’s gadget world) with the stone grinder.

This is how I made it –

Aadu/Mutton Urundai Kuzhambu/Lamb Meat Balls in Spicy Gravy (serves 10-15 persons) – reduce according to family needs



Step I – Making the Meat Balls


Ingredients (makes appr. 35-45 urundai)


  • minced meat – 1/2 kg
  • grated coconut – 3/4 cup
  • cardamom – 4 no.s
  • cloves – 4 no.s
  • garlic – 10 cloves
  • ginger  – 2 inch piece
  • chopped onion – 1/4 cup
  • green chillies – 4 no.s
  • black pepper – 1 tsp
  • turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • salt – as needed

Method of Preparation

  1. In a stone grinder, first grind the minced meat
  2. Next, add cardamom, cloves, ginger and garlic and let them mash well in the stone
  3. Add grated coconut and grind
  4. Then, add chopped onions and green chillies


5. Add salt and grind till smooth balls can be rolled out of the blended meat


6. Make small urundais and keep aside on plate.


Step II – Making the Kuzhambu/Curry


To saute –

  • oil – 2 tbsp
  • cinnamon stick – 1 inch
  • cardamom – 5 pods
  • cloves – 4 no.s
  • bay leaves – 2 -3 no.s
  • curry leaves – 15 leaves
  • chopped onions –  1 cup (2 big onions)
  • chopped tomato – 1/2 cup
  • slit green chillies – 2 no.s

Make a paste-


  • grated coconut – 1/2 cup
  • ginger – 2 inch piece
  • garlic – 8 cloves
  • fennel seeds – 2 tsp
  • black pepper – 1 tsp
  • red chilli powder – 2 tsp or more
  • coriander powder – 2 tsp
  • turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp

To cook-

  • tamarind juice – juice extracted from a lemon sized tamarind  – 1 cup


Making of Urundai Kuzhambu

  1. In a large, hard bottomed pan, add oil
  2. Saute bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and curry leaves
  3. Add chopped onions and slit green chillies and fry until golden

4. Add tomatoes and fry until soft

5. Next, add the ground paste of coconut and spices and fry well


6. Add tamarind juice to dilute the thick paste and salt to taste

7. Cook till the raw smell of spices and coconut is gone

8. Add more water if needed, as we need to let the meat balls cook and absorb more juices of the curry

9. When the curry is done and is there is enough liquid to soak the balls, gently drop the urundais one by one

10. Do not over crowd the curry – give enough breathing/cooking space

11. Close the lid, simmer the stove and let the meat balls cook in the gravy for at least half an hour

12. Check in between for enough liquid in the pan

13. Switch off once the meat balls are cooked well. Make this curry at least 4-5 hours ahead of meal time, for juicier urundais. Serve with Idli, Dosai or Rice.